How to Grow Indoor Plants in Water


Water culture is a soil-less method of growing plants, where plants are placed in water-filled, drainless containers. Water-grown indoor plants need less watering than soil-grown plants and experience fewer soil-borne insect infestations. Not all houseplants adapt well to water culture, but plants such as red ivy (Hemigraphis colorata), wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis), spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) and arrowhead plants (Syngonium podophyllum) are good choices.

Step 1

Choose a suitable plant that has been rooted in water from a stem or leaf cutting. Don't use cuttings that have been rooted in soil, if possible, because the soil might sour.

Step 2

Choose a jar, vase, glass or bottle (the material isn't important) to use for growing the plant. Fill the container with water. Plain tap water should suffice, or you can use bottled water. Add a very slight amount of soluble houseplant fertilizer to dissolve in the water, if desired, before adding the plant.

Step 3

Place the water-rooted cutting into the water-filled container and secure with vermiculite, perlite or decorative pebbles to help conceal the roots or hold the cuttings in position while establishing more roots, if desired.

Step 4

Replenish the water as it is used and evaporates, changing it completely every two to four weeks.

Step 5

Keep the water-grown plant away from hot, direct sunlight, especially when using a glass container.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-rooted plant cutting
  • Drain-less container
  • Water
  • Soluble houseplant fertilizer
  • Vermiculite, perlite or decorative pebbles (optional)


  • Texas A&M University Extension: Plants That Will Grow in Water
  • Floridata: Chlorophytum Comosum (Spider Plant)
Keywords: water cultured houseplants, water-growing indoor plants, indoor water culture

About this Author

Marie Roberts is a freelance writer based in north central Florida. She has a B.S. in horticultural sciences from the University of Florida. Roberts began writing in 2002 and is published in the "Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society."